Sports betting odds may seem complicated at first, but anyone can learn to understand them quickly and easily. A lot of folks don’t know exactly how to read or calculate these odds, but if you understand the different kinds of odds and how they are listed, you are well on your way to mastering them.

If you’re new to understanding the odds in sports betting, read on to discover how they work.

American Style Betting Odds

Most online sportsbooks list their betting odds in the American format. There are a few key versions of sports betting odds available, but American odds are most commonly used as they are easy to understand and to calculate.

As an example, let’s look at some odds between two sport teams.

Team A: +120

Team B: -140

The numbers shown are the odds represented in American odds format. These odds have two components; the positive or negative sign, and the number itself. The sign in front of the number indicates whether a bet on the team will pay out more or less money than you have wagered.

If the sign is negative, the outcome is more likely to happen, and betting on that outcome would pay less than what you wagered. A positive plus sign shows that the outcome is less likely, and will pay out more than what you bet. Then there are the numbers. Listed odds with a negative sign on them, such as -140, means that you would need to wager $140 to win $100 in profit.

Odds with positive signs (like +120) show you how much money you stand to win on a $100 bet. This can easily be converted by moving the decimals involved, so a $10 bet on +120 odds would pay out $12 in profits.

Decimal Style Betting Odds

Decimal odds are commonly used at European sportsbooks, and are very easy to understand. If you wish to calculate the decimal odds on a bet, simply multiply the amount you plan to bet by the decimal odds shown and you will arrive at your payout. Here is an example:

Team A: 2.40

Team B: 1.55

If you were to place a $10 bet on Team A at 2.40 odds, you would multiply your $10 bet by 2.40 and arrive at a payout of $24. Please note that the decimal odds style includes the amount you wagered, so you would need to subtract your original bet from your profits ($24 – $10) to discover your potential profit payout of $14.

If you wanted to bet $10 on Team B, you would multiply $10 x 1.55 to reach a total win of $15.50, or $5.50 in theoretical profits.

Decimal odds are incredibly simple to understand, but you will not often find them displayed at sportsbooks in North America. With that said, most online betting sites today allow you to choose the format in which your betting odds are displayed, so you can choose your preferred layout. American odds will usually be set as your default, however, so it pays to know how both popular formats work!